Web Summit 2018: The largest technology conference in the world brought together leaders of emerging tech. The event was spread over four days of motivational talks, conceptualizing new ideas and massive networking opportunities.
The ceremony took place in Lisbon from 5-8 Nov’18 with around 70,000 attendees from 159 countries.
Web Summit is officially open for 3 days of incredible speakers, groundbreaking conversations and almost 70,000 attendees from all over the world ???
— Web Summit (@WebSummit) November 5, 2018
Comprising of 1,800 start-ups, 2,600 media representatives, and 1,500 technology investors Web summit began with a blast. Paddy Cosgrave, CEO of Web Summit kicked off proceedings. Here are some of the highlights of Day 1:
1. A contract for the web
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the web thirty years ago addressed his concerns with the growing sense that the web is failing to live up to its promise. He also called on 70,000 attendees to stand up and fight for the “web we want”.
It doesn’t have to be clickbait. Stop trying to distract the user! – Sir Tim Berners Lee
2. Apple: Business doing well by doing good
Lisa Jackson, VP – Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Apple addressed what’s next for Apple as it works to protect the planet. She is the first Apple executive to speak at the Web Summit. In her talk, she spoke about how the company this year reached the goal of powering its global operations with 100% renewable energy.
3. The technology of storytelling
Darren Aronofsky, Writer/Director at Protozoa Pictures and Lauren Goode Senior Writer at Wired discussed the improvements in our storytelling abilities. Technology that has an overreliance on the newest special effects curbed our ability to truly connect with an audience was the main agenda of their talk.
4. Nurturing a digital future that is safe and beneficial for all
António Guterres, UN’s Secretary-General, shared his views on harnessing the promise of new technologies whilst safeguarding against their perils. According to him, there needs to be a ban on killer robots and autonomous machines.
Day 1 of Web Summit 2018 ended with Paddy Cosgrave calling on the PM of Portugal and the Mayor of Lisbon to open the event.
Day 2 started off with even more excitement among the attendees. Some of the big highlight speakers of Day 2 were:
1. Inside the fastest-growing business app in history
Slack has been a platform which changed the way you communicate in an office. Cal Henderson, co-founder of Slack, took this opportunity to tell us what’s next for one of the biggest startups on the planet.
2. Decision making in fast-paced environments
We all struggle with decision making at some point in our life. Stephen Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor and Nico Rosberg, 2016 Formula 1 World Champion talked about the effects of correct decisions on our achievements.
3. What I wish a VC had told me
Next guest was Alexis Ohanian Co-founder of Reddit who talked us through his journey and the lessons he wishes investors had shared as he was building Reddit.
Startup lessons from @Initialized and @Reddit Co-founder @AlexisOhanian:
1 "Look for peers not mentors"
2 "Seek authenticity not authority"
3 "Operate for the short-term, plan for the long-term"
4 "Focus on the very specific things that make your product different"#WebSummit pic.twitter.com/HUMmJiAl9u
— Web Summit (@WebSummit) November 6, 2018
4. Your privacy is compromised, what are you going to do about it?
Data privacy is one of the biggest concern of every internet user. Christopher Wylie, Whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, and Krishnan Guru Murthy, Presenter at Channel 4 spoke about the threats to our personal data.
5. The marketing insider’s tips for 2019
Michelle Peluso, SVP and CMO at IBM; Gail Heimann, President at Weber Shandwick; Rosemarie Ryan, Co-CEO at Co: Collective; and Alex Heath, Senior Reporter at Cheddar shared the marketing trends that will come to the fore and the platforms due to rise and fall in the coming year.
6. Earning user trust
With Tamar Yehoshua, VP Product Management at Google, we learn about Google’s approach and progress. We see how technology companies address the challenge of innovating helpful products while giving users transparency and control over how data is used.
We didn’t see any drop in the energy as Day 3 approached. Attendees were looking forward to hearing more insightful stories from some of the biggest names in the industry.
1. Is the future of search visual?
The first speaker of the day was Pinterest’s CEO, Ben Silbermann. He talked about the ways visual technology is transforming how people get inspired, find new ideas and do what they love.
2. Analyze this: The state of the tech industry
From Sean Rad, Founder of Tinder; Dick Costolo, CEO at 01 Advisors and JP Mangalindan, Chief Tech Correspondent at Yahoo Finance we hear what happens next in the tech world. They discussed the successes and failures of today’s tech industry.
3. Google at 20: Digital as a force for good
Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business & Operations at Google with Krishnan Guru Murthy Presenter at Channel 4 gave an insight about how the company is focused on creating digital opportunities.
4. How technology is extending realities boundaries
The magic of technology has made things what seemed impossible, now possible. They also highlighted how the world will never change at a slower pace than today.
5. Digital peace in the age of cyber threats
Brad Smith, President of Microsoft Corporation discussed the human cost of nation-state sponsored cyber attacks, the steps Microsoft and industry partners are taking to address growing threats. He also spoke about the need for urgent collective action by the world’s governments, the tech sector and the citizens of the world.
The last day of Web Summit arrived with many more roundtables, Q&A, workshops lined up. Some of the highlights of Day 4 include:
1. An AR / VR renaissance: Human storytelling
Eugene Chung, Founder & CEO at Penrose Studios has made a mission of defining the next generation of human storytelling. He shared glimpses of new ways to experience our favorite worlds and characters.
2. How to fix your shitty pitch
An all-star investor panel comprising of Christine Herron, Director at Intel Capital; David Schneider, Co-Founder of That Lot; Jager McConnell, CEO of Crunchbase; and Mike Butcher, Editor-at-large at TechCrunch shared about what they look for before they part with their cash.
3. Net positive: Happiness and the internet
Alan Schaaf, founder of Imgur shed light on how social media bring happiness in a world filled with fake news, social isolation, and trolls. He outlined the ways to create an uplifting experience on the internet.
4. Modernizing traditional brands
The panel consists of Daniel Grieder, CEO at Tommy Hilfiger; Nadja Swarovski, Member of Executive Board at Swarovski; Jim Lanzone, Chief Digital Officer at CBS Corporation; and Karen Tso, Anchor at Squawk Box, CNBC. They shared their secrets to longevity and how they survived on to thrive by embracing tech.
— Breeze.io (@breeze_io) November 8, 2018
Breeze.io grabbed the opportunity to exhibit at Web Summit 2018. Apart from meeting WordPress enthusiasts, it turned out to be a great place for creating brand awareness.
We got the opportunity to inform and educate people about our WordPress hosting services. Also, learn smart business hacks from other similar startups.
Special Mention: NightSummit
As Paddy Cosgrave said “Web Summit is not a 9 to 5 conference”, there is so much more to it.
Apart from spending the whole day listening to amazing people share new and creative ideas, you get the night for networking. NightSummit is networking at a whole new level. You get to wake up to meaningful conversations with like-minded people.
All in all Web Summit 2018 was a blast!
We are already looking forward to Web Summit 2019 🙂